Ruprecht-Karls-Universit├Ąt Heidelberg
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Fackler0118 - Scientist (f/m) / PhD position
Project no:

Project leader:

Project supervisor:
Fackler, Oliver T.
Application deadline:
31. Mar 2019
Start of PhD project:
1. Apr 2019

Project description:

The role of nuclear actin dynamics in T cell gene expression and HIV infection
T cell activation involves triggering of a signalling cascade at the plasma membrane that is converted into a specialized gene expression programme required to drive cell proliferation and differentiation. T cell activation also renders CD4 T cells susceptible for infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). We recently discovered a novel and essential mechanism that regulates this process: the dynamic formation of a network of nuclear actin filaments controls the expression of genes required for CD4 T cell activation and their helper function in vivo (Tsopoulidis et al., Science Immunology 2019). Studying this new biological principle has become a main focus of the laboratory with the aim to (i) define how nuclear actin dynamics drives expression of a selective set of target genes, and (ii) to assess the role of these filaments in the context of infection with Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Aspects related to HIV infection will apply these approaches to infected cells, including training and work in our BSL3 facility. A position of a PhD student is available starting from spring 2019 for interested candidates that would like to join our efforts in this exciting and new area of research.

The laboratory is located in the newly opened Center for Integrative Infectious Disease (CIID) research building with its state-of-the art imaging facility at the heart of the Heidelberg life science campus. We offer an international and highly interactive environment to address a project at the interface of immunology, biochemistry, cell biology, genomics and virology. We are searching for highly motivated candidates with genuine curiosity and passion for science.
Grosse R, Vartiainen MK. To be or not to be assembled: progressing into nuclear actin filaments. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Nov;14(11):693-7.

Tsopoulidis et al., Science Immunology 2019 (accepted)
Methods that will be used:
Analyses will involve cell biology, genomics and biochemical approaches including advanced microscopy, molecular biology techniques (gene silencing, generation of stable cell lines by lentiviral transduction, analyses of gene expression and translation, chromatin organization and epigenetic regulation) as well as protein-protein and protein-DNA interaction studies.
Cooperation partners:
National and international collaboration partners
Personal qualifications:
We are searching for highly motivated candidates with genuine curiosity and passion for science.
Nuclear actin dynamics, T cell activation, regulation of gene expression, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).